Robinias were a favourite of mine back in the nineties, when they seemed to be in fashion. Bright and cheerful, the golden leaves of the cultivar Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ were and are a joy to behold. But there is more to this medium tree than colour. Sauntering through Batman Park in Melbourne yesterday, I came across this specimen, which has the most elegant form. The sinuous spreading of the limbs as they curve upward into the foliage was captivating. The sun in the golden leaves simply amplified the brilliance of the sunshine of the perfect autumn day.
Horticulture in urban areas is widely becoming a vehicle for conscious community building. The popularity of community gardens is a testament to that. Meeting friends and neighbours amidst the kale and parsley is the way to go. I get it. I like it. And, some creative people are always thinking of new ways to expand this concept, often by using the internet to connect people. This can be seen in the groovy concept set up by a few blokes in the inner north of Melbourne, with their project HerbShare. I hope they continue with the idea, even though their crowd sourcing venture has not yet been successful. Check out their Facebook page to find out more. https://www.facebook.com/theherbshare
How did I find out about them? I stumbled on this quirky little planting in a bluestone alleyway in North Carlton. An old plastic tub, a television carapace and a rather retro pepsi crate serve as the containers for the herbs which are grown here for the person who planted them and also for any of the neighbours who might like a sprig of mint for their peas. One less thing to buy at the supermarket. One more reason to connect with your neighbours.